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Future Work Recommendations


Introduction   Energy   Policy   Economics   Technology   Storage   Transmission  


Introduction

Due to the limited time available for this project, not all of the areas identified as research possibilities could be pursued. Those with powtential for future research are listed here, as an aid to anyone undertaking further study in this area.

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Energy

  • Predict the actual potential power output over an annual period from multiple sites more accurately, using tidal harmonic constants to predict the Scottish/UK tidal stream resource (speed and times).

  • Implement up-to date measurement studies of the marine current resource at important tidal sites, for example, using ACDP/ADCP technology to accurately measure the tidal stream speed, direction and depth.

  • Complete a CFD-based study investigating the packing density of Marine Current Turbines in order to understand the impact this will have on the potential energy yield from particular sites.
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Policy

  • Investigate how current and future UK policy may restrict the number of coastal sites and their size available for installing marine energy devices, e.g. Scottish Natural Heritageís SSSI scheme.

  • Investigate potential policy recommendations that could ensure maximum exploitation of the marine resource - for example introducing licenses on significant tidal current sites. (see policy section under background for more details).
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Economics

  • Investigate the value of a predictable, yet variable renewable source of energy within the new NETA electricity market framework e.g. value of ROCs, contracts, market policy etc.

  • Explore maximising the market potential for a Marine Current Energy Supply Strategy - is a baseload approach the most economical in market terms, or would supply to meet peak demand wherever possible be more realistic? What kind of contracts could be proposed with power companies and the grid? Could agreements be reached with pumped storage companies so that a solid baseload could be achieved at lower cost via co-operation of both parties?
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Technology

  • Design and implement our very own energy capture device and all become extremely rich!

  • Many different technologies exist for marine current energy extraction, but due to their stage of development detailed information is often difficult to access. However, some of these different designs offer more flexibility in terms of the speeds required for efficient energy ectraction or in their installation method, which may result in additional sites becoming viable - opening up greater possibilities for exploitation of the resource. A similar study to this could be carried out, using one of these emerging technologies. (see Technology section for more information on concepts).
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Storage
  • In the future alternative methods of energy storage may become available to match or exceed the performance of pumped storage - emerging storage solutions could be evaluated for their compatibility with a baseload strategy scheme.
    (alternative storage options are detailed in the "Storage Options" section under Technology).
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Transmission

  • Implement a Marine Energy Transmission network study, working in conjunction with utility company/companies to estimate the reinforcements required to fully exploit Scotlandís Marine Energy resource.
  • Investigate use of AC/HVDC cabling for MCT sites which a far away from existing distribution/transmission network.
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